Why Knot Now?

Unless marriage is politicized, many people my age do not take it seriously. Many of my classmates do not date and see marriage only as rite of passage for the future—way far out in the future. I recently heard a presentation on this topic by Dr. Jason Carroll of Brigham Young University at the Love and Fidelity Network’s National Conference. He said many people talk about the who, thewhat, and the why of marriage, but there has been little analysis of thewhen. In other words, when is a good age to get married? The national average in which women (27) and men (29) marry has been on the rise, but what does this mean?

His presentation called “Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage” analyzed the implications of this trend across men and women of various socioeconomic levels. His main findings suggest that delaying marriage financially benefits the upper class but creates challenges for those who have less than a college degree.  The fact that “marriage has shifted from being the cornerstone to the capstone of adult life” has not only made marriage seem unattainable to many, but has also altered one of the primary reasons get married—to start a family. Carroll’s report found that today, “for women as a whole, the median age at first birth (25.7) falls below the median age of first marriage (26.5).” This crossover in the trends of marriage and childbearing has had particularly negative consequences for people of lower income brackets.

Obviously economic success or stability is not the end of marriage, but if it’s a reason people are delaying marriage, the research suggests that people shouldn’t be afraid to get married sooner rather than later. Carroll found that a married couple’s level of education most positively influences their financial prospects not the age at which the couple gets married.  In light of the capstone mentality of marriage, this is an important finding. Although the research also shows that getting married really young (late teens early twenties) increases likelihood divorced, these premature marriages are quite rare today.

As college students, marriage is not only something we should begin to think seriously about, but also something we should act seriously about. How can we expect to have healthy and happy marriages when we keep putting marriage off to satisfy our personal pleasures and ambitions? How do we expect marriage, a lifelong commitment, to work when we aspire to cohabit instead? Many of us want to share the rest of our lives with someone else but are making choices that are not preparing us for commitment and total-self-giving love.

I know that marriage and having children is an uncomfortable topic for many people my age. At a place like Harvard, getting married shortly after college is stigmatized. But this shouldn’t be the case. Getting married doesn’t mean giving up your life or ambitions. It means starting a new life, sharing your ambitions, and growing with another person.  If getting married is something we want, even if we can’t fully determine when, we shouldn’t continue the upward trend of knot yet.

Luciana E. Milano ’14 is a government concentrator living in Pforzheimer House. She is President of The Harvard College Anscombe Society.

This article was originally posted in the Love and Fidelity Network State of Affairs, You can read the whole article here: http://www.loveandfidelity.org/2013/11/27/why-knot-now/

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WRAP Week updates

 

REMAINING EVENTS ARE LISTED BELOW

Harvard WRAP is Co-Sponsored by:
Harvard Daughters of Isabella and Knights of Columbus
HCFA: Harvard College Faith and Action 
Harvard College Anscombe Society 
Harvard Catholic Student Association

WEDNESDAY AT 8:00 P.M. — Emerson 305
The Homewrecker: Pornography, Relationships, and the Family
Drs. David and Angela Franks

THURSDAY AT 7:00 P.M. — DiGiovanni Hall, St. Paul Parish
Hookup Culture: Slavery or Freedom?
Dr. Peter Kreeft

FRIDAY AT 7:00 P.M. — Sever 113
Pornography in Society: How Did We Get Here?
Dr. Anthony Esolen 


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White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week Coming Up

 Harvard WRAP Week will take place October 21-28th

White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) is intended to educate the public about the extent of our culture’s pornography problem.

Here is a recent excerpt from a great piece in Public Discourse on the topic:

“The claim that internet pornography “doesn’t hurt anyone” is patently disproved by years of multidisciplinary studies in the hard sciences and the social sciences. These studies have exposed internet pornography as a massive, paradigm-shifting social harm that undermines the family unit and causesabuse, life-long addictionsinfidelity, and unhealthy perceptions and expectations among men, women, and children.

Likewise, the “no harm” argument also fails to consider the production of internet pornography, which is produced by way of real human beings who are almost always engaged in illegal and dehumanizing acts such asprostitutionrapesex traffickingassault, and even murder.

Though sexuality is considered “private” in our society, the social effects of collective sexual behaviors and norms, including the effects of internet pornography, cannot be kept “private.” Because pornography is sexual, it is inherently relational and thus inherently social. How people relate to each other in society is important, but how people relate sexually is crucial to the sustenance of a society because it either incentivizes or de-incentivizes the very foundation of society: the family unit.”

 

 

Welcome Class of 2017

We are excited to welcome the class of 2017 and we look forward to meeting you soon!

Here are some ways you can learn more about Anscombe and get involved:

Harvard Activities Fair:  Friday, September 6,  4-7pm (quad lawn)

quad

Conservative Student Group Info Session: Sunday, September 8, 2-3 pm (Sever 102).

Fro-yo Social: Sunday, September 8, 8-9pm – meet us at 1 Arrow St.  Let the Anscombe Society and Harvard Right to Life treat you to Berryline!

Home

Other events to look forward to:

Tim Goeglein, VP of External Relations Focus on the Family: Thursday, September 19 5pm

Jonathan Last on What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: Friday, October 18, 12-2pm

What to Expect When No One's Expecting

 The 6th Annual Intercollegiate Conference on Sexuality, Integrity, and The University: November 8-9

 Sexuality, Integrity, and The University

Register for the 2013 National Conference- Sexuality, Integrity, and The University

2013 National Conference
The 6th Annual Intercollegiate Conference on

SEXUALITY, INTEGRITY, AND THE UNIVERSITY

Friday evening & Saturday, November 8 & 9, 2013

Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey

REGISTRATION

Click here to register for Sexuality, Integrity, and the University 2013.

 

Early registration will be open through September 27
Student Fellows – Free
Students – $40
Non-students – $60

Regular Registration will be open through October 18
Student Fellows – Free
Students – $50
Non-Students – $75

The Love and Fidelity Network’s annual conference aims to connect college men and women to leading scholars and experts in order to equip them with the best arguments and resources in support of marriage, family, and sexual integrity. Participants will also find ample opportunity to network with and learn from each other, and attend sessions to help develop leadership skills in bringing the “love and fidelity” message back to their respective campuses.

SPEAKERS

Dr. Matthew O’Brien
Jennifer Marshall, Devos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation
Dr. Jason Carroll, Brigham Young University
Dr. Catherine Pakaluk, Ave Maria University
Jonathan Last, author of What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster
Alana Newman, Anonymous Us
Mary Rose Somarriba, Robert Novak Fellow, Phillips Foundation
Eve Tushnet
Mona Charen

SCHEDULE

A detailed schedule will be available closer to the date of the conference. The conference will run from early evening Friday, Nov 8 through Saturday night, Nov 9.

HOUSING

The Love and Fidelity Network seeks to provide hotel accommodations in Princeton for undergraduate students participating in the conference on Friday and Saturday night. Due to limited availability we will give preference on a first-come, first-serve basis. The sooner you register, the more likely it will be that we can provide accommodations for you and your group.

TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS

We will be able to offer a very limited number of travel scholarships for undergraduate students traveling a far distance to attend the conference, based on need and availability. Please email the Campus Outreach Director at with any questions.

SPONSORSHIPS

A $250 student sponsorship enables us to award travel scholarships, and offer subsidized admission fees to student attendees. If you would like to sponsor a student, please complete the conference registration form and follow instructions to indicate your desired sponsorship. We are so grateful for your generosity!

More Than Just “Offensive”

The outpouring of opposition to the College Events Board’s decision to make Tyga the headline act of Yardfest has been entirely warranted. The lyrics that have been circulated around campus attached to petitions for the last week are utterly vile, and anyone who objects to his coming to Harvard is justified in doing so. We should be careful, though, not to object on the grounds that Tyga is “offensive,” for the real problem is not that he is offensive. That charge alone does not provide sufficient grounds to rescind his invitation, and when the College Events Board and Harvard Concert Commission attempted to assuage concerns about “offensive content” in Tyga’s music in a statement released last Monday, they were dodging the issue entirely.

The charge of offensiveness is problematic for a number of reasons, all of which suggest that we have no absolute right not to be offended. First, the phenomenon of offense exists in two parts: that which gives offense and he who takes offense, and the existence of offense in any particular situation says as much about the latter as it does about the former. Sometimes, people are rightly offended at bad things. At other times, they are wrongly offended at things that are not so bad. The difference between being rightly and wrongly offended, moreover, can only be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Offensiveness is entirely unworkable as a standard of conduct, that is, as a standard by which we determine whether speech, behavior, etc. is acceptable, as it could easily include or exclude things improperly. Take the hypothetical example of a very misogynistic campus community. This community would not be offended by a speaker or performer whose message was degrading to women. On the other hand, it probably would be very offended by a guest lecturer who upheld the equal dignity of the sexes and condemned misogyny in the strongest possible terms. The problem in such a scenario is not the fault of the offending lecturer, but with the community that receives him with hostility. Furthermore, in this case, the community would be better served by hosting the offensive guest than the non-offensive one.

Finally, we must resist using “offensiveness” as a litmus test because its chief effect is putting a damper on discussion. There is little, if any, room for debate about whether something is offensive. Those who are unbothered by the matter in question will find the mere assertion of offense thoroughly unpersuasive, while to those who are offended will find that no further discussion is necessary. We can see this in recent debates over Tyga. While many students have signed a petition asking that he be removed from the program for Yardfest (and rightly so, I believe), other students have effectively responded, “I don’t find Tyga that offensive,” leaving the discussion at an impasse. In the interest of robust dialogue, therefore, we must resort to better, more engaging, albeit more complex, reasons to oppose bringing Tyga to campus.

The real reason to oppose bring Tyga to Harvard is that his music celebrates and promotes a debased and corrupting sexual culture. It strips sexuality of any semblance of dignity or beauty, replacing those attributes with a mentality of selfish exploitation. It removes love, commitment, and authentic and healthy relationships from consideration and views human beings as sexual objects, convenient tools to be used for one’s own pleasure. This view of human sexuality is incredibly degrading, especially to women, in Tyga’s case, and ought not to be celebrated at Yardfest.

In light of this, the CEB and HCC’s response to the controversy is unsatisfactory. They have moved Tyga’s performance to later in the evening, so that students will be able to eat dinner and leave before he takes the stage, but the problem with his appearance is not that his lyrics will shock and offend some ears. Rather, it is that he expresses themes about women and sexuality in his music that should not be welcome at all on this campus, regardless of whether or not certain offended students are made to listen to him.

As an academic community, Harvard should not be in the business of banishing that which some of the people in its community find offensive, which is largely a matter of perceptions, feelings, and visceral reactions. That which is socially corrupting, degrading to our humanity, and detrimental to our community, is a very different matter. Tyga’s music fits this description in its lyrics and themes, and it is for this reason that the College Events Board should never have invited him in the first place.

James P. McGlone ‘15 is a history concentrator in Kirkland House and the Vice President of the Harvard College Anscombe Society.

This article was originally posted in the Harvard Crimson. You can read it on the Crimson here.

Not Open for Debate

The following is a letter written on behalf of the Harvard College Anscombe Society in response to the university’s recent recognition of the “Harvard College Munch,” a student “BDSM” sex club. It was intended for publication in the Harvard Crimson last week, but was not accepted by the Crimson editors.

The Anscombe Society is certainly not in the business of curtailing free speech, but nor do we believe that respecting speech necessitates recognizing student groups that take absolutely any point of view. While the administration does not endorse the views of any group, recognition of a group does send the message that the activities of the group make a valuable contribution to our campus. Thus, when a student group like “Harvard College Munch” gains official recognition, the effects reach far beyond the club’s own membership and bear on the lives of all Harvard students. The Anscombe Society sees this newly approved group for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism, or “kinky sex,” as a symptom of the hypersexualized culture prevalent in our own university and many others today. We believe that BDSM itself trivializes sex, promoting a selfish and anarchical sexual ethos that can be very harmful and destructive not only to those who engage in these practices, but also to all of Harvard’s undergraduates. While students’ personal sexual choices may be their own, they nevertheless form the basis of our campus culture and sexual milieu. The fact that such degrading sexual practices now have a recognized and university-funded group devoted to them will have a wide-ranging impact, profoundly effecting students’ daily lives.

These recent events also call into question the standards by which the Office of Student Life decides to grant recognition to student organizations. Clearly, there would be some groups that OSL would decline to approve because of a problem with their missions; groups professing racist, anti-religious, or otherwise bigoted views, for example, would not be constructive or worthwhile additions to undergraduate life. What constructive purpose, then, does Munch serve on our campus? Supporting the group’s approval in the name of fostering discussion of “kink,” as many have done, is only a smokescreen; clearly any discussion within the group will promote and affirm kinky practices, and outreach to other groups is impossible as long as the group remains completely anonymous. The decision over recognition ought to boil down to this: if you think that more violence and humiliation, especially where sexual practices are concerned, are good things, you should support the recognition of Munch. If you think that more violence and humiliation are bad things, you should oppose it.

The Anscombe Society, believing that the currency of academia is reasoned argument, has throughout its history engaged in debate and discussion with other groups and individuals on campus, including those with very different views of sexuality from our own. However, unlike every other student group, Munch is a group with whom we simply cannot have a debate. We believe that human sexuality is a thing of great beauty and dignity and have always assumed that other groups, even those with very different views from our own, share that common starting point. We have always been eager to discuss with these other groups our competing views of how best to honor the dignity and beauty of sex, but we do not even share this much common ground with Munch, which instead seeks to associate sex with violence, humiliation, and oppression. That is one disagreement that is not open for debate.

James P. McGlone, Harvard Class of 2015
Vice President, Harvard College Anscombe Society

This letter was originally posted by the Love and Fidelity Network here:

http://www.loveandfidelity.org/2012/12/17/not-open-for-debate/

The Love and Fidelity Network Opposes Harvard’s BDSM group

The Love and Fidelity Network, which supports Harvard Anscombe Society released a press release opposing Harvard’s recognition of “Munch.”

” Harvard University’s formal recognition of the “Harvard College Munch” last week comes as bad news for students seeking a healthy sexual culture and reasoned debated about human sexuality. Munch is a BDSM (short for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism) club for college students.

“The Love and Fidelity Network opposes Harvard University’s formal recognition and funding of a group that seeks to associate human sexuality with violence, oppression, and humiliation,” Director of Programs Caitlin Seery said. “Universities should foster an environment where the dignity and beauty of sexuality is honored and affirmed – and where reasoned debate is welcomed among those of goodwill who disagree over what constitutes the true dignity and beauty of human sexuality. Groups like Munch, however, do not seek to participate in that important debate. Rather, BDSM groups dishonor and degrade human sexuality precisely by associating it with violence and humiliation.”

“Our opposition isn’t about banning groups with whom we disagree or censoring private behavior. We support the recognition of many groups with whom we disagree precisely because we think an honest debate about how best to honor the dignity and beauty of sexuality is needed. It is about whether Harvard University should subsidize the promotion of violent and abusive behavior, which endangers all students, particularly women, both psychologically and physically. Consent does not make a violent, abusive, or humiliating act suddenly non-violent, non-abusive, or non-humiliating,” Seery explained. “The bottom line is this: If you think there isn’t enough violence, abuse, and humiliation in the world, then you should support the recognition and funding of groups dedicated to associating sexuality with these social evils. If you think that there is already too much violence, abuse, and humiliation in the world, then you should join us in asking Harvard to reconsider its support for this group.”

Read the full article here:
http://secure.loveandfidelity.org/np/clients/loveandfidelity/news.jsp?news=55